The South American harvest season is in full swing, especially on first-crop soybeans. The most interest is also on soybeans, where we are getting a better indication of actual crop size. 

Many analysts have the Brazilian soybean crop at 133 million metric tons. This is very close to initial estimates as recent rainfall has benefited the crop considerably, as well as reports of higher than initially forecast plantings. We are also seeing elevated corn crop estimates, with many at 108 million metric tons. 

Sales of the newly harvested soybean crop in Brazil are large. It is believed that 58% of this year’s crop has already been marketed. This compares to the 43% sold at this stage last year and the normal 40% for this date. 

Record high returns are the primary cause of the elevated selling pace. This raises some questions, though, as it was thought Brazil may be slower in its sales this year after depleting soybean inventory in each of the past two marketing years. 

Another factor being monitored as the soybean ...